Marriage used to provide access to sex. Now it provides access to celibacy." Thus does Caitlin Flanagan summarize her review of a rash of books dedicated to the proposition that <a target=_top href="http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2003/01/flanagan.htm">"sexless marriages are an undeniable epidemic"</a> in the latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly. The books being reviewed are depressing. Some are concerned only with female loss of interest in sex, ranging from Patricia Heaton's <a target=_top href="http://www.patriciaheatononline.com/motherhood_hollywood.htm"><i>Motherhood and Hollywood</i></a> ("Sex? Forget about it. I mean that literally.") to Jennifer and Laura Berman's <a target=_top href="http://www.oprah.com/tows/booksseen/book_20010207_jberman.jhtml"><i>For Women Only</i></a> (which catalogues various techniques married women use to avoid sex in the context of overcoming sexual dysfunction) to Cristina Ferrare's <a target=_top href="http://www.thirdage.com/news/features/927830565.html"><i>Okay, So I Don't Have a Headache</i></a> and Judith Reichman's <a target=_top href="http://www.homeschoolzone.com/amazon/books/reichman.htm"><i>I'm Not in the Mood</i></a> (both about loss of libido in perimenopausal women). Two deal with psychological issues like being too busy (Alison Pearson's <a target=_top href="http://www.bookbrowse.com/index.cfm?page=title&titleID=1094"><i>I Don't Know How She Does It</i></a>), or resenting men and/or children (Cathi Hanauer's <a target=_top href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0066211662/102-1941255-6392922?vi=glance"><i>The Bitch in the House</i></a>). A couple give pep talks on getting sex back in life (Michele Davis' <a target=_top href="http://www.divorcebusting.com/sexstarvedhome.html"><i>The Sex-Starved Marriage</i></a>) or on using sex to get what you want from a spouse (Marabel Morgan's <a target=_top href="http://www.adamnthing.com/tw.htm"><i>The Total Woman</i></a>). But they have something in common: they all make you feel hopeless about marriage and sexual relationships. I came away from the Flanagan's review wondering if we had all lost the Sexual Revolution, if the two wage-earner household is inherently dysfunctional, if the nuclear family is doomed, if it is natural for women to hate men, and if child-rearing and sex are natural enemies. Flanagan wonders if housewives of the 1950s, fretting over their sexless college years and boorish husbands, were getting more action than today's more liberated and sexually experienced married women. Is the sexless marriage really becoming normal? Has the Puritan right won after all?